6.3/10
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112 user 160 critic

The Limits of Control (2009)

The story of a mysterious loner, a stranger in the process of completing a criminal job.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jean-François Stévenin ...
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The Waiter
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Second American
María Isasi ...
Flamenco Club Waitress
Norma Yessenia Paladines ...
Flight Attendant
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Storyline

A solitary man who does not speak Spanish is an underground courier. Two men who are both thuggish and philosophical send him to Madrid with cryptic instructions. Over the course of a few days, he receives his instructions from a series of distinctive individuals who provide words of philosophy or of warning and also give him a matchbox with a tiny piece of paper, which he reads then eats, accompanied by espresso served in two cups. He is quiet, self-contained, focused on his work. He has rules. He encounters and at times transmits a violin, diamonds, a guitar, and a map. Is he a smuggler? Merely an independent conduit? Or, something else? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For every way in, there is another way out.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

19 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

No Limits No Control  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,820, 3 May 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$425,025, 28 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Óscar Jaenada crossed paths with Jim Jarmusch when the director was scouting Madrid for locations, and was such a fan of his work that couldn't help but to asked him for a role once he knew he was shooting a movie in Spain. See more »

Goofs

When the Lone Man travels from Madrid to Sevilla, he enters a S 100 AVE train set. But the interior shots are clearly done in a S 103 (Velaro E), a totally different - and much newer - type of train. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Creole: [character speaks in Spanish/French creole, English subtitles] You don't speak Spanish, right?
French: [character translates for Creole] You don't speak Spanish, right?
Creole: You are ready? Everything's cool?
French: You are ready? Everything's cool?
Lone Man: Yes!
Creole: Good.
French: Good.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Quantum Respect and broken flowers to BART WALKER" in closing credits See more »

Connections

References The Lady from Shanghai (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Por Compasión: Malagueñas
Traditional
Performed by Manolo El Sevillano (as Manuel El Sevillano)
(c) Copyright 2003 by Fonotrón, S.L., Sevilla (España)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant cinematography, but not much else.
14 November 2009 | by See all my reviews

I really enjoy some of Jim Jarmusch's work (Night on Earth, Mystery Train and Dead Man), and I thought that I would like this film based on the story (or lack thereof) and the soundtrack, however, I was quite disappointed. The film is very slow, and while this can work and be beneficial to the plot, I think that it dragged on far too long in this instance. There was a lot going on visually, which made up for the slowness to a degree, but it seemed as if there was too much time to take it all in. I felt myself noticing the same things over and over in various shots/scenes, because there wasn't anything else to do besides look, which made me feel like I was staring at the film more so than actually watching it.

As for the soundtrack, I am a fan of some of the artists on it (Boris, Sunn, Earth, etc.), which is part of the reason I wanted to see this film initially. Because these bands can have a very slow, droney sound, I was very interested to see how the mood of the music would work with the tone of the film. I expected the two to compliment each other, but instead, the soundtrack just made everything drag on. Because the film progressed as such a slow pace, I assumed that it was leading up to a grand climax, but the film's culmination barely stood out.

I will say that I admired the film from a technical aspect, and I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from Jarmusch's earlier work, but I don't think I'll ever watch it again.


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